What news in 2023 struck you?


It seems the audio press seems to have no end of press releases to hype, but I'm curious looking back for the year what news regarding the audio industry has most struck you?

For instance, the sale of ARC, and Roon, and B&W (or was that last year) seemed pretty significant.  Class D amps with GaN transistors created a lot of buzz and claims of Class D finally reaching it's promised potential.  Textreme drivers have appeared here and there, as has the Purifi woofer...

I also recall a Monitor Audio prototype that struck me as really innovative. 

What else has stuck in your mind longer than ten minutes this year?

Post removed 

That Atmasphere created some SOTA Class-D amps (that people love) blew me away. Wish I could audition them.

Salk going out of business was a sad surprise for me. I never owned any of their speakers, but it seemed to be a good healthy business, and everyone said that Jim was a good guy. Then I read that the whole thing was up for sale for a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

+1 @viridian Fremer to TAS seemed sacrilegious lol. And @roxy54 I didn't know Salk retired sad news. I'd say the sale of ARC was a big one and I am personally curious about the recent sale of Roon to Harman though I am not a Roon user.


I didn't even know about Salk retiring!  That's a bummer, as I was really curious about the Song 3 Encores.  Always wanted to hear Salks and I was going to find a way to audition them...

The passing of John Strohbeen who kept Lincoln Walsh's design of a coherent speaker alive through the decades.

I have almost an entire month of 2023 to wait for the news that will STRUCK me

Speaking of the prototype Monitor Audio Hyphn, have you seen its multi-driver array? Tekton? 


I did!! They use a different center tweeter I think, but you are right in that it's a similar take on making a coaxial tweeter/midrange array that Tekton uses.  

Both the tweeter array and the inward turned woofers seem to solve a number of problems, so I'm really curious to hear how they sound, especially at higher volumes.

Buying an Aavik (Pascal module) class D Integrated and finally realizing a musical ability to translate an electronic signal into pure, You are there,  Live Music like never experienced before with ANY speaker you own. Incredible.

@mbmi  Glad you are happy, but was that news, or just a personal revelation? :)

Fremer moving to TAS and the Endow Audio Point Array speaker that they are designing. (Also in TAS).

I was struck by the stupidity of the Mofi LP recording debacle, and the subsequent lawsuit settlement.


Blue Jean Cables now telling me that very expensive high end cables are actually better than the cheaper cables they have always pushed.  I have now lost all faith in humanity.  😭

The ARC implosion surprised me. They dominated the ten figure market for decades. McIntosh couldn't make them profitable, nor could an insider angel investor who also lost is arse. Now the company can't seem to put out anything new or exciting. Meanwhile they attack their dealer network.  My sad conclusion is that Bill Johnson was ARC and his death ended the ARC era- we just didn't know it at the time. 

The demise of MQA.
Roon acquired by Harman International.


Blue Jean Cables now telling me that very expensive high end cables are actually better than the cheaper cables they have always pushed.

Their association with Iconoclast isn't new. This page has been on the Blue Jeans website since 2019 (documented on Internet Archive):

The news that newer and even upstart companies and eastern countries audio are selling budget HIFI at very good prices that can compete with more established brands like ARC, B&W, Vandersteen, McIntosh, Klipsch, Martin Logan, NAD, etc. I am thinking companies such as HiFi Rose, Denafrips, Q Acoustics, Eversolo, Line Magnetic Audio, FiiO, Shanling, Kinki, Topping, Willsenton, Buckardt, Daniel Hertz etc

To me, this is a very significant trend toward affordable or at least optional choices for HIFI buyers.

Some of the more "relatively" affordable trickle down Borresen speakers hitting the scene..holy crap!

Here's a nitpick that a non-ocd non-musician shouldn’t concern himself with. But, it is perhaps not as tonally accurate or produce as realistic a soundfield as my current TAD or the Yamaha ns5000 i got to audit..but, it is indeed very special at this kind of pricing...There is just a level of clarity, detail, resolution that doesn't exist in the other high end "big names" at any price!! (stagnant innovation/rinse/rehash/marketing of the same sht).  The latter better spend more on marketing and pay their pied pipers more.

(Currently in talks with the spouse to put the X6 or X3 on order so there's no future marital problems. I wish I could get both the Yamaha and Borresen together, but, well,..one at a time/need to play it safe. The Borresen and Yamaha may be the greatest bargains in recent times.)


Clayton Shaw's return with a new company, and a new open baffle speaker. I've always wanted to audition Spatial or Pure Audio Projects in my system, but the price kept me at bay. Bought Clayton's Caladans on reputation, the second I could I placed my order. Patiently waiting now

Mmm, the sale of Ohm which considering the death of Strohbeen was a no-brainer but unobvious to me at the time....still wishing for a major Lotto win...😏🤷‍♂️

Guess it falls to the few and tinker-types like yours unruly to flounder on...

The (grudging?) acceptance of Class D as a means of amplification...."....getting better all the time..." to snag a line... *S*

'Chi-Fi', the 'threat of'...Well, considering the size of their market, the love of good music repro and the fans of, everywhere in general....and the growth of the electronics' industry in Asia....*fingers crossed*....

A return of the Technics' SL-10, a 'mass-market' linear-tracking TT that came Standard with a moving-coil cart?  Did what it did without being a fuss 'bout it?

(Yes, 'you' may have a major $ one with a cart (or 4) to 'match', but....)

..some of us live in a 'fi' desert...

I believe Salk retired, didn't go out of business...and I read he will continue to service his speakers...some sites also indicated a new venture for him...

Good news - MQA died. Well sort of.

Bad news ARC continues to fall apart. Private Equity may not save it.

Who cares news Swift and Kelsea PR Stunt."Relationship" 

How about this one. "Unbelievable amount of hate towards MQA by people who don't use it and were never forced to do so...even after it was abandoned ". Maybe that ridiculously stupid trend will last into 2024.

I always thought the "hate" towards MQA, was related to the perception that they wanted everything to become MQA only, and force all to listen to and pay for MQA...

Let’s look at this logically. There has never been a better time to be an audiophile. Electrostatic speakers, horn speakers, open baffle, etc. One can stream high definition files, Flac, MQA, and add the best DAC you can afford. CD’s are still with us and so are high quality transports. Vinyl is still here and a tremendous variety of turntables. Reel to reel, still with us. One can have class a, a/b, class d or tube amps. You can have a hybrid amp. Heck even cassettes are coming back as well as console stereos. No one ever got so upset about ipod sound and mp3 sound like they had with MQA. MQA was never going to replace all recorded music, that’s just ridiculous. I listened to some MQA albums that sounded great and some sounded terrible. Mostly it was the original recording that made the most difference in the quality of the sound. Cmon think about it... MQA was not something anyone need to get their panties bunched up about.

For myself no doubt about it,the Musical Fidelity A1 reissue,a true piece of audio esoterica that I can actually afford!

Who had a brief moment to speak yesterday and mentioned Curl is working on some things for them ( Parasound )….

Salk retiring. 

Also that 2024 could be alot tougher than 2023 so we'll see how that affects this hobby, pricing and brands, not to mention everything else.


Post removed 

MQA appears to be about to-a-degree compressed, so-called high-res music files sold off as true high-res, and deals made with hardware and software manufacturers to deliver MQA-"ready" products that unfold MQA material to its fuller potential.

I fail to see the need for compressed streaming files in this day and age, even with true high-res, and not least the need to invest in MQA-specified products to take better advantage of their pseudo high-res venture. It’s the principle matter of taking what we already have, converting it into a compressed "high-res" variation, and making money on product deals that are necessitated to more fully harness a file-product, that’s worrying.

The same in essence could be said about harnessing the potential of raw CD-files, true high-res and DSD ditto with better DAC’s, but it’s the MQA labeling, business and manipulation of raw material into compressed form that annoys the hell out of me, and why I applaud what will hopefully be the eventual demise of MQA.

With regard to sound quality, some feel MQA-files sound better - through the proper "approved" source equipment, I take it - some don’t, and even considers them inferior. I belong in the latter camp and prefer the unadulterated, plain ol’ raw 16-bit/44,1kHz CD-files, even over much if not most true high-res material.

@phusis - I mostly agree with you.  Given how inexpensive the internet and disk storage has become a super high compression algorithm for music seems like a waste of effort.

The one area where I believe we do have a need for something like this is a way of authenticate whether the stream we are listening to is bit perfect or not.  I wish MQA didn't also throw a lot of other stuff on top of that.

The GAN coverage has caught my eye, though I've not had the opportunity to compare a GAN Class D amp to one made with conventional silicon.

As a Roon user, I am a bit concerned about the new ownership (Harmon/Samsung), though it's a far better development that than what Classé has gone through. Maybe Samsung will convince Spotify to work with Roon.

If a pattern has emerged, it's a renewed emphasis on value in much of the market, along with highly publicized development of extreme-priced gear for the extremely wealthy.

Another interesting pattern is that DSP is becoming available in more products, a good thing in my opinion. It can't do everything, but it's a good solution to some audio problems.